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Comment & Response
January 14, 2020

Reporting of the Medical Licensing Examination

Author Affiliations
  • 1Mount Carmel Health System, Grove City, Ohio
JAMA. 2020;323(2):186-187. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.18178

To the Editor The proposed change to a pass-fail score reporting for the USLME Step 1 Examination from the Federation of State Medical Boards and the National Board of Medical Examiners was based on the recommendations from the Invitational Conference on USMLE Scoring. I am concerned that the authors1 made several claims either without evidence (or have not cited that evidence) or in direct contradiction to established evidence to advance their view. The authors stated “…the narrow differences in examination scores used by some programs to exclude many applicants are arbitrary with neither clinical, nor statistical meaning.” There is no way for the authors to know how other programs use cutoffs and whether those cutoffs have clinical or statistical meaning.